Blog Sports

Why is NBA-Style Load Management Spreading to Other Sports?

Author: Dave Grendzynski

NBA load management is not only changing the way we play basketball, but it’s now the talk among coaches in almost every other men’s and women’s sports. Load management is carried out with the help of sports data analysts, who use information (collected by player tracking devices) to help coaches and trainers make better decisions about the health and well-being of their players. 

One of the first realizations that comes with implementing a load management strategy is what a difference it can make. And it’s not just basketball coaches who are saying it.

NBA load management is where it began, and now many teams in multiple sports analyze data to make sure their players aren't overexerting.

Load management burst onto the basketball scene around 2010. That’s when the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs started resting their star players during select games. 

The practice is even more common today, with stars like Steph Curry, LeBron James, and Kawhi Leonard resting on random nights. Sports performance analysis is tied to a player’s physical exertion and workload during games and practices. 

This information can be used to monitor and manage player fatigue, which can help your team in many ways, including: 

So, to better understand what load management is and why it’s so important to monitor, let’s take a closer look at it and find out why sports analytics software systems are vital when tracking it.

Learn more about our basketball player tracking systems by clicking the link below:

GUIDE TO PLAYER TRACKING SYSTEMS

What Is Load Management?

Players rest on the bench during a basketball game as part of their load management plan.

Load management is when a healthy player is held out of playing a game for rest or precautionary reasons. This is done to avoid long-term fatigue and injuries. But it’s typically not coaches who are single-handedly making these decisions.

Many studies show the benefits of load management, but it starts with the sports data provided by sports performance analysis software.

Sports Analytics Software Provides Data

In the NBA load management is  much more common, but more college coaches are consulting with sports scientists about how much players should rest.

A sports analytics software system is technology-based. It tracks sports analytics through the use of sensors and/​or cameras. It collects data on the movements and actions of players during games and practices, including: 

  • Monitoring player exertion: Sports performance analysis software can measure the distance players cover during games and practices and their speed and acceleration. This data can provide coaches and trainers with a better understanding of how much players exert themselves during games and practices. They can also help them adjust training and practice schedules accordingly. 
  • Tracking workload over time: Sports data analytics can also provide information on players’ workload, such as the number of minutes played per game and the number of games played in a given period. This information can help coaches and trainers decide about player rotation and rest days. 
  • Identifying injury risks: By monitoring players’ physical exertion and workload, a sports data analyst can help identify when players are at risk of injury. For example, if a player’s workload has been consistently high over a period of time, it may be a sign that they need additional rest or a reduced workload to avoid injury. 

Real-time or post-practice/game, all sports data is gathered to analyze and dissect the information. The sports performance coach has the option to share it with the rest of the staff immediately or wait until after the practice/​game to review the real-time data. This enables the coach and staff to make well-informed decisions regarding each player.

Typically a sports scientist, strength and conditioning coach, head coach, and trainers are all involved in the decision-making process. The goal is to improve each player’s (and the team’s) overall health and performance.

Sports Data Analytics Are Now Essential

A women's volleyball player spikes the ball while a player tracking device keeps a record of how hard her body is working.

Basketball is a physical grind that gets more taxing for players with every game they play. The grueling schedules of AAU and overseas professional leagues are putting a lot of physical mileage on the players’ bodies. And the injury risk only increases with age.

Sports data analytics provide coaches and trainers with valuable insights, which pay dividends as the season progresses. 

Many other sports are becoming more taxing because younger athletes play them year-round. Coaches and trainers must pay close attention to how their players’ bodies handle the added stress.

Sports Analytics and Load Management: Turning Data Into Insights For Coaches

A trainer uses a tablet to monitor a player's load management during a practice.

Many NBA teams regularly use load management systems for sports performance analysis. The same can be said for professional teams in Europe. Why? Players’ careers are being extended, and championship windows remain open longer. The number of men’s and women’s college teams using player tracking systems is also growing. KINEXON’s player tracking data helped the Miami Hurricanes’ coaching staff to prepare their players for their run to the Final Four in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. 

Many football/​soccer, volleyball, hockey, and American football teams also use the technology and sports data KINEXON Sports offers. 

And our technology won’t disregard the natural indifferences between men and women. It can help you to pay attention to your players’ individual needs.

KINEXON enables coaches and players to prepare themselves to meet the demands of the sport and excel when it matters most. 

To schedule a demonstration, please click the link below, or contact us anytime. It’s the first step to taking your team’s performance to a new level. 

Want to see how our experts generate and analyze mechanical load data? Download our free guide.

Take The First Step To Load Management 

More stories

Coaches who use a data-driven hockey software get better insights to make decisions.
What Data-Driven Hockey Software and Puck Data Can Do for Coaches and Players

The power of data in ice hockey is eye-opening. Analytics are enhancing player performance, strategic decision-making, and training development. But those aren’t the only ways data-driven hockey software is reshaping the game.

IMU data is collected during indoor sports lake handball, basketball, and volleyball to manage player workloads.
What Does an IMU Sensor Track in Elite Handball?

Handball players move fast and put lots of stress on their bodies. But more coaches are discovering that using the most-used load management system in sports helps to keep them on the court and playing their best for longer periods.

an athlete gps tracker is used by coaches to monitor how well a player is performing in many outdoor sports.
What Kind of Data Does a GPS Tracker for Football Players Provide?

Technology has become an integral part of enhancing player performance and reducing injuries. One such example is the GPS tracker for football players. But what kind of data does it provide? And what does this information tell coaches and players?

Paul Koier is with the UNC Charlotte 49ers Sport Performance Staff working with the women's basketball and women's tennis teams.
The Connection Between Basketball Data, Point Spreads, and Sports Performance

When it comes to women’s college basketball, every edge counts, both mentally and physically. This ensures the best possible outcome on game day. Even if it means using the daily line as motivation.

Ice hockey advanced statistics provide a level of detail about a player that you can't get from a box score.
Are On-Ice Skating Tests Essential for Coaches Who Evaluate Hockey Players?

On-ice skating tests are often used to evaluate essential performance attributes in competitive-level hockey players, including agility and speed. A recent study provides insights for coaches, that may help them pick the best tests and exercises to assess hockey players.

Eric Donoval is the director of sports performance for the football team at the University of Wyoming.
How Coaches Balance Football Analytics and Coach’s Intuition When Making Player Decisions

The interplay between hard data and human intuition in football is a delicate dance. Eric Donoval, the Director of Sports Performance for the University of Wyoming football team, provided insightful commentary on this intricate balance on a recent episode of The Xtra Edge” podcast.

Why Integrating Match and Training Data is Critical for Football Coaches

More and more coaches are taking advantage of the powerful combination of match data and GPS-based training data. This fusion of information is providing unprecedented insights into player performance, team dynamics, and game strategy.

GPS football tracking sensors are worn by players as a coach watches a dashboard that displays performance metrics.
How Coaches Are Unlocking Football Players’ Potential with GPS Tracking Insights

Technology’s influence on football is undeniable, particularly with the expanded use of GPS tracking. It plays a major role in painting a more comprehensive picture of individual players and overall team performance, leading to improved outcomes. And now it’s easier than ever for coaches to use. 

Dalton Knecht attended the NBA Combine after finishing his playing career for the Tennessee Volunteers of the NCAA Division I Southeastern Conference.
What's the One Thing 2024 NBA Draft Combine Leaders Have in Common?

The NBA Draft Combine underscores the pivotal role of data-driven performance metrics in preparing athletes for high-stakes competitions. But there’s a commonality among the players who performed best during the strength and agility drills this year.

Dimitris Itoudis, one of the winningest coaches in EuroLeague history and uses basketball analytics to aid his decision-making.
Dimitris Itoudis is Mastering EuroLeague Basketball with Data-Driven Coaching

Dimitris Itoudis is one of the winningest coaches in EuroLeague basketball history and renowned for his strategic prowess. But he also exemplifies the marriage between traditional coaching wisdom and modern data analytics.

American football analytics are helping players plan better offseason workouts.
How Analytics Can Help Improve Collegiate Football Workouts

The offseason is a crucial time for college football players to improve their skills, strength, and conditioning. But how do you put together a training program that is as efficient as it is effective? Here’s a surefire way to start.

a recent study looked at the effectiveness of plyometrics workouts for handball players.
Researchers Uncover the Power of Plyometric Workouts for Elite Handball Players

A group of researchers set out to assess the impact Plyometric training might have on improving vertical jumps (and other performance metrics) of handball players at the elite or national level. Here’s what they learned.

In addition to being the Head Strength and Conditioning coach for Heroes Den Bosch, Coach Rik van Waes is also a physiotherapist.
Data-Driven Approach Fuels Coach’s Return-to-Play Protocol!

Injury recovery is a critical aspect of sports, and it’s where data can make a significant impact. As Rik van Waes, the Head Strength and Conditioning for the Heroes Den Bosch professional basketball team, puts it, Returning to play after an injury is one of the major things that data can contribute to.”

REWE Final4 Breaks New Ground with Cutting-Edge Handball

Each year, thousands of handball fans converge at the REWE Final4, while millions tune in from home. Alongside the Handball Bundesliga, it doesn’t get much bigger than this. Except this year. 

A study found Olympic derived strength training is good for women's volleyball players trying to improve their jump height.
Study Reveals: Olympic-Based Strength Training Enhances Handball Skills!

Imagine the power and agility of an Olympic athlete combined with the strength and endurance of a handball player. That’s exactly what a recent study set out to explore. The goal? To unlock new levels of performance for women handball players.